This week I’m in Chappaquiddick at my family reunion (read the full saga on 7/26), so every day I’ll be writing about a Vineyard place that I love.
As much as I appreciate living on a glorious estate with 38 other zippy Londergans far from the reach of cell phones, internet, TV or cable, there comes a time when you need to reconnect with civilization. And that entails a bike ride to the Chappy Ferry, a 3-minute trip across the mighty waters of Katama Bay, and a stroll up the road to the charming, intimate, crammed-to-the-gills Edgartown Public Library.
Apparently we aren’t the only ones who are connectivity-deprived on the Island – the line to get in and get online starts at about 9 on a Tuesday morning (the library is heartlessly closed on Sunday and Monday) with people flopped about the lawn looking listless and bereft. Then the doors open promptly at 10 and everybody pours into the adorable edifice on 58 North Summer Street.
Edgartown is about the cutest town on the planet, if you haven’t been there – and the library is no exception. There are murals on the walls in the children’s library, a vibrant and noteworthy library borrowing network called CLAMS (Cape Library Automated Materials Sharing), classes like Conversational Portugese and Ancestry Library, and a dazzling set of DVDs and audio tapes.
Plus – did I mention this? – there’s free wireless. So all the die-hard worker bees in the family can troop inside or join the laptoppers sitting on the lawn outside hoping to grab a signal … while the rest of us ante up our $10 non-Massachusetts resident fee, and start trolling through the books.
EPL is the epitome of what a community library is supposed to be – and all the libraries on the island are equally adorable. The first time I came to Martha’s Vineyard with 4-year old Lulu, we spent a month in April biking around the island and visiting every library there – from West Tisbury to Vineyard Haven, Chilmark, Aquinnah and Oak Bluffs. But our favorite was then and continues to be Edgartown’s little beauty. They say they’re going to build a new library but I’m not believing it. I hate change … and am hardly ready to give up this little gem.
My $100 today goes to support the Edgartown Public Library and the wonderful people who work there ( but not the new building fund, sorry!) And much as it makes me feel like Steve Martin in “The Jerk” to admit this, I just can’t wait to get my new library card!!
Andrew Carnegie provided the money for over 2,500 libraries around the world. I think he would have beeen thrilled to have read Ms. Londergan’s wonderful description of Edgartown’s Carnegie Library.
He “…dreamed of things that never were and asked: ‘Why not?”
2,500 public libraries – of which 1,600 are in the U.S.
I agree with “bronxboy” that you really are a gifted writer and I’m also enjoying the holiday with y’all (heck I’m even calling it Chappy now).
You’re so great at painting mental images and conveying a mood, even while dispensing information. I’ve never been to Chappaquiddick, yet it now feels familiar and welcoming. I can’t wait to go back — tomorrow?